Netroots, President Obama, and the Democrats – a sad rocky relationship

This weekend had the annual Netroots Nation meeting in Las Vegas. I wasn’t able to attend in person but some of the programs were streamed on the Internet and I did watch some of the keynote speakers. While I do agree with the direction the Netroots take, I was disappointed in the speech by President Obama and appearance by Senator Harry Reid.

President Obama gave a surprise speech by video to the gathering. He again pointed out the legislative accomplishments and then acknowledge the rocky relationship the left has with him. He told the gathered people to hold him accountable.

The President, suffering among this crowd for not being as progressive as they’d hoped, said that he wants the Netroots to “keep making your voices heard, to keep holding me accountable, to keep up the fight.”

Obama said “change is hard … change is possible,” and ended with, “let’s finish what we’ve started.”

Obama In Surprise Message To Netroots: ‘Consider What We’ve Accomplished’ (VIDEO)

That bothered me because we have been trying to hold him accountable and he has blown us off or worse got his attack dogs like Rahm Emanuel to tell us pretty much to f*ck off.

So which is it. Does he want us to hold him accountable or to f*ck off.

I feel like I’m in a scene from a bad buddy cop movie and the President is playing “Good Cop” and his staff is playing “Bad Cop”. UGH!

The pundits have been complaining the President hasn’t been out banging the pots and pans about his agenda being passed and I think I know why. I think they know the bills – like Health Care reform (HCR) and financial reform – don’t mean anything to regular people outside of DC. HCR won’t really take effect until 2013 (one of the compromises that watered the bill down) and the financial reform didn’t punish the bankers that screwed our economy. You would think that any “victory” would have a ticker tape parade with a band and party favors but nope.

It’s as if the administration wasn’t surprised at getting limpy bills passed.

Then we come to Senator Harry Reid. I really wish he had been challenged and lost his primary because as Senate Leader he has been as effective as a wet sponge. He leads by using the 60 vote threshold even though the Democrats don’t have 60 votes. This makes him kiss the asses of the Blue Dogs (conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson) and allowing the Republicans to pocket filibuster bills and appointments they don’t like.

It seemed that the Netroots crowd treated him like a rock star.

The most cringe worthy moment came when Donald Choi gave Reid his West Point ring as a reminder of the bad “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Reid promised to keep the ring until the policy is removed. Someone should tell Choi not to expect his ring back because you won’t get 60 votes in the Senate to pass any bill removing DADT in 2010 or ever in the near future.

The repeal passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Lawmakers hope to attach it to the Defense Authorization measure likely to be debated this fall, but in an election year where control of Congress is at stake, it’s unclear if the measure will make it.

Discharged Dan Choi To Harry Reid: ‘It’s Not About Me Anymore’ (VIDEO)

That’s what’s so sad. The Democrats pissed away their power these past two years. They had such great potential.

I am also mad because I have no alternative. I will have to hold my nose and keep these losers in office because the alternative – the GOP – is much worse. And the White House knows it.

All I can do is only support real Democrats who want to fight for what is right and don’t give a crap about the Republicans or Corporate America.


Kasich is wrong for Ohio Governor because he offers same rejected GOP plan

The 2010 election for the Governor of Ohio is a perfect example, on a smaller scale, of the Republican obstructionism and having no real ideas for governing. The GOP is also supporting a guy with a Mel Gibson short fuse.

John Kasich, the GOP candidate for Governor, served in the US House of Representives from 1983 to 2001 then left to cash in on his political connections as a contributor to FOX “news” and working for Lehman Brothers – the investment house that collapsed which led to our economy bombing in 2008. While in the House he was chair of the budget committee and helped craft a Federal budget that had a surplus for the first time since 1969.

Great news right? Well, not so much..

The surplus was based on financial deregulation, NAFTA, welfare reform, and first the dotcom bubble and then the housing bubble. Basically his “success” was based on the main GOP campaign tool box = pro-business policy, low taxes, and entitlement spending cuts.

Fast forward to 2008 and those “good” things led directly to the financial collapse. The bankers played their game and took their obscene paychecks, the housing bubble burst leading to millions of foreclosures, and the collapse of the economy took millions of jobs with it.

Kasich wants to do the same thing to Ohio. Yay!

Mr. Kasich, who held a “business roundtable” session in Lake Township on Tuesday, said the low ebb of the economy was made clear to him when he stepped out on the eighth floor of a downtown Toledo office building and saw nothing but vacant space.

“It was all empty, you know. The most important thing we can do here in this state is we’ve got to create a business-friendly environment so we can get some jobs,” he said.

Kasich says empty space is proof of tough times for city

A business-friendly environment is code for no regulations and no taxes – anything less than that doesn’t seem to work for him.

“I understand you have a very fine mayor here in Toledo, good guy, independent and all that, but he’s been saying he doesn’t like my program because I want to cut taxes. Well, how are we going to get anybody to come in here if we’re one of the highest-taxed states in the country?” Mr. Kasich asked.

Ohio has given away tax breaks like candy for decades. In fact major businesses in Ohio pay less income tax than many Ohioans. I wrote in a post in 2004:

Meanwhile the business inventory tax is being phased out, utility poll taxes were eliminated sometime ago, 81% of Ohio companies pay no more than $2000 a year in income tax, you are more likely to see tax breaks given to businesses for negligible requirements on their part, and Workers compensation taxes have been quite low for several years.

When it comes to community needs, Wachtmann and Gilb don’t care

That really hasn’t changed since then. The state has not added any income taxes and in fact had a 21% tax cut that was being phased in before the 2008 collapse forced the state to delay the last part of the cut. In 2008 Ohio’s corporate tax rate was 5.1% and yet the state is flirting with $8 billion dollars in red ink, cuts in dozens of programs and education among others.

In the current two-year budget, Strickland – and the General Assembly – reduced state general-fund spending by nearly $2 billion. In the previous budget, spending was cut by $1.5 billion.

CAMPAIGN AD WATCH: ‘Pulled’ – GOP anti-Strickland ad

As Strickland summed up Kasich as a candidate:

Bringing up Mr. Kasich’s claim that some 400,000 jobs were lost during his term, Mr. Strickland said, “what John Kasich and his cronies on Wall Street did was more responsible for job loss in Ohio than anything I’ve done.”

He said Mr. Kasich had voted as a congressman against a $1 billion veterans’ benefit targeted for treating head injuries and repeatedly voted for a bill to allow wealthy people to avoid taxes by renouncing their citizenship.

Strickland challenges Kasich to debate tax elimination plan

Strickland has it right. The so-called 400,000 job loss (really only 379,000 through June) was not Strickland’s fault. He also isn’t responsible for the Republican controlled Ohio Senate that offered no plan to balance the budget and tried to hold onto the final bit of that irresponsible 21% tax cut. He also isn’t responsible for banks holding their bail out money and not lending it out. Strickland isn’t responsible for the lack of sales keeping any recovery muted and he sure can’t force businesses to do anything in Ohio until the recession subsides.

Kasich doesn’t have any real solution to Ohio’s economic problems. They are much bigger than the Governor and simply “cutting taxes” isn’t going to work. If Kasich wins then Ohio will continue down the road of bad roads, worse education, and increased suffering of people not associated with the big banks like Kasich.

Kasich’s “business-friendly environment” plan is the same old same old screw regular people plan that a majority of Americans rejected in 2008 when they gave control of the national government to the Democrats. Why in the heck would we want that failed plan in Ohio.

Kasich is just wrong for Ohio. Not to mention he seems to have a short Mel Gibson type temper.

Jon Husted standing up to strawmen

Jon Husted is running for Ohio’s Secretary of State office. In the first TV commercial I’ve seen, he hits the usual conservative talking points even if he has to use strawmen to do it.

Husted is currently a State Senator for the 6th District.

Jon Husted campaign commercial

First of all Husted didn’t “stand up to liberal ACORN to prevent election fraud” since there was no proof or charges of fraud perpetrated by ACORN in Ohio in any election.

Rights are not given to us by God. They are written into the US Constitution.

I am still not sure what “immoral government debt” I need to be worried about or it will hurt my children.

It is obvious that Husted is not a fan of the separation of church and state – see the example about the prayer in the state house – but he also supported exemption for priests involved in pedophilia back in 2007 under Senate Bill 17.

This is just the beginning and it already seems Husted is wrong for the job.